Monday, August 9, 2010

When the Party's Over

Once again, Gen Con has come and gone, and It'll probably take over a week for me to fully recover. This year was great. I had fun, I learned lots of stuff, and I talked with lots of cool people. The fact that Jean Rabe organizes the Writers' Symposium events for Gen Con every year shows that she's one of the most awesome people ever.

My two hour talk, titled Real Medieval Feasts seemed to go well. It wasn't as much fun to do as the Principles of Medieval Cooking one I've done a number of times, but people still seemed to enjoy it. Attendance seemed smaller than last year - there were only about 60 or so in the audience, and some empty seats. Still, the crowd was responsive and inquisitive.

I was really nervous for the cooking workshop. I'd never done this kind of thing, and the lack of proper cooking facilities made me worry even more. I was so nervous that I managed to burn my fingertips (slightly) while adjusting the element on the cooktop - I hadn't realized it got turned on while setting things up.

Still, I managed to get the food served and did my best to keep the guests entertained. I'd cooked most of the food ahead of time, and that's about the only way I could have done this at all. No one seemed to mind much, and in fact they said I could have charged significantly more (which I'll likely need to do if I try this again next year). Given the cost of dining anywhere near the convention (where a burger, fries, and drink can cost up to $20) I guess I'm not surprised.

One thing I did get a kick out of was that two of the guests were children. Both boys, one around eight years old and the other I'll guess was maybe six, and they were there with their mothers. The kids were very well behaved, tried everything (that I could see) and seemed to like it. These were my kind of kids! If either of the moms are reading this, thank you for raising such nice children.

For the Writers' Symposium panels I was on, I had a great time. I was a bit concerned about the panel on drinking, but it was really fun - and I got to have a nice chat with Linda Baker before and afterwards (Hi Linda!).

The panel on Dark Women worried me even more - it was mis-scheduled in the Gen Con computer, so very few people were there at the start, and I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to contribute (I'm a guy, after all). I think we managed to do pretty well, and we even extended it an extra hour to accommodate the (large!) crowd who showed up for the scheduled time. Paul Genesse had the brilliant idea to draft one of the audience members from the first hour into the panel for the second hour. Susan Carhart (I hope I remembered her name right) was a really neat person to be on a panel with - smart, charming, and all-around fun.

That's about it for now. There are several potential projects that might develop from the convention, but we'll have to wait and see. I'll post some details on what I served at the cooking workshop a bit later this week.

1 comment:

Wacky Hermit said...

Thank you very much for sharing your experience! If you have outlines or handouts for either your cooking course or your Dark Women course, I'd love to see them posted! I wish I could attend events like Gen Con, but I can't.